Lucky order – AiL short

Well, we have another small anecdote for you. Today, it’s about us stuck with our little local language skills…

Lucky order

A few days ago, we visited an unknown local bar and restaurant like we do nearly daily these day, due to our work for an app. Usually, our small Lao skills together with English work perfect and since we’re in a tourist town, most of the menus are available in English. Well, you read correctly: most.

The restaurant is located in the outer districts of Luang Prabang and yes, you’re right: there was no English menu or anyone speaking English. We hesitated, but then tried to understand the menu without understanding any word. At least, there were some pictures and so we ordered only “half-blind”. It must’ve really been strange for the staff to serve non-Lao customers. I then heard her talking with another staff, saying something with “ເຂົ້າຜັດ” (spoken: “kao pat”), meaning “fried rice”. That sounded quite good and a few minutes later this was proofed. Matthias played “order what you can read” and got some fish, which was delicous but as a vegetarian…well, it got eaten, anyhow. Still, food was amazing, and so we even ordered a second time: kao pat for everyone.

Asking for the bill was connected with some language of course, but worked quite good. Only telling them that we left some tip took half a minute, but in the end worked as well.

So, good to know: as long as you are staying in the well-known town center, everyone’s fine with English. Outside the main tourist area, this can quickly change into: no English at all.


  1. Dad

    Hi continue doing that – and improve you lao language skills 🙂

    • Maxi

      ຂອບ ໃຈ ຫລາຍໆ!

  2. Carla

    they say the best food is served in restaurants which are frequented by local folks 🙂 so i guess the next time we go there, you can easily help us order the lao specialities!

    • Maxi

      There’s some truth in your comment. We are currently working on an app which offers you a list of local restaurants and while checking out a lot of local street food, I can say that the small, hidden places are sometimes the best one’s for the best price!

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